Cultivated in a tea garden in Miaoli county, western Taiwan, the ‘sparrow’s tongue’ leaf combinations of Oriental Beauty (1 tea bud and 2 supporting leaves) are hand harvested in the summer and made into ‘red oolong’ by a tea master working in traditional fashion. Our Oriental Beauty is then made into 100g compressed tea cakes. You can see the dark green silvery strands on the tea cake indicating the tenderness of the tea leaf buds used in making it.
One of the secrets of this tea is that leafhopper insects have left tiny bite marks and secretions on each leaf, which makes the tea plant slightly yellow and increases the sweetness. Indeed the flavour is redolent of honey or ripe fruit, while the liquor is a reddish amber or copper brown, an indication of a fairly advanced, 60-70% oxidation level.
It’s to be drunk either hot or as a cool refreshment or even put aside as a ‘vintaging’ tea for future enjoyment. Aged oolongs are more mellow, less frisky, and have a concentrated fruity flavour like muscat grapes or ripened peaches.
The original name ‘Bai Hao’ means white and furry, which is the appearance of the tea leaf bud tips. It was christened ‘Oriental Beauty’ by Queen Victoria who famously drank it from a champagne glass.
- We encourage you to visit chaya teahouse to select your own oriental beauty oolong tea. Thus, this tea available for collection at chaya teahouse.